How to Address a Captain

Two types of Captains:
—-* USA
(Army), USAF (Air Force) & USMC (Marine Corps)
—-* USN
(Navy) & USCG (Coast Guard).
—-—-Forms for both appear below.

–____–—-For a captain and spouse, see Couple, MilitaryHow to Address a Captain

How to Address a Captain: USA, USAF, or USMC

Here is how you address official correspondence to a Captain: USA, USAF or USMC.

—-Envelope, official:
—-—-Captain (Full Name), USA/USAF/USMC
—-—-(Address)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Captain (surname):

Here is how you address social correspondence (like an invitation or personal note) to a Captain: USA, USAF or USMC.

—-Envelope, official:
—-—-Captain (Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Captain (surname),

Abbreviating Ranks: Above I’ve shown the rank fully spelled out. Each service has service-specific abbreviations for their ranks. For ‘captain’ the USA uses the abbreviation: CPT – all capitals, no period. The USMC and the USAF use the abbreviation: Capt – Cap and lower case, no period. Follow this link to service-specific abbreviations.

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Captain: USN or USCG

Here is how you address official correspondence to a Captain: USN or USCG.

—-Envelope, official:
—-—-Captain (Full Name), USN/USCG
—-—-(Address)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Captain (surname):

Here is how you address social correspondence (like an invitation or personal note) to a Captain: USN or USCG.

—-Envelope, official:
—-—-Captain (Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Captain (surname),

Abbreviating Ranks: Above I’ve shown the rank fully spelled out. Each service has service-specific abbreviations for the ranks. For the U.S.N. and the U.S.C.G. the abbreviation for captain is CAPT. This abbreviation is routinely used within the services.  Follow this link for service-specific abbreviations.

How to Address a Captain, USA, USMC, USAF or USN, USCG

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Captain in the US Army?

My future son-in-law, a West Point grad who is now a Captain in the Army, visited our home last weekend for the first time. I am writing him a thank you note for his thoughtful gift. My question: on the envelope do I write Mr. William Smith or Captain William Smith?  Since this is personal, which title would be correct?
——————– Rennie Hendricks

Dear RH:
—–#1) Armed services personnel are addressed by rank both professionally and socially. He’s always Captain (name) except when you are addressing him on a first-name basis.

—–#2) Since this is personal, use the social form (no branch of service on social correspondence.):

———-Social envelope:
———-—–Captain William Smith
—–———-Address

———-Salutation:
———-—–Dear Captain Smith,

—–But since it is a personal note, you likey can start your note:
—–—–Dear Bill,

– Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"